Lana Del Rey and beabadoobee deliver gloomy tracks for a gloomy week: your Press Play-list for the week of Oct. 19

Bart Carmody, Arts Editor

With temperatures dropping and earlier sunsets in New York City, what better time to coop up inside with a week’s worth of new music? With the first bone-chilling single from Lana Del Rey’s forthcoming project “Chemtrails over the Country Club,” UK-based indie rockstar beabadoobee’s debut LP and a surprise EP from electronic mastermind James Blake all dropping in the past week, your next few gloomy days are sure to be anything but boring. Here’s your Press Play-list for Oct. 19, 2020.

Lana Del Rey – “Let Me Love You Like a Woman”

Kicking off this week’s melancholic mixtape is the queen of melancholy herself, Lana Del Rey, with her new single “Let Me Love You Like a Woman.” The track is forecasted to be the leading single from her upcoming project “Chemtrails over the Country Club,” and is certainly consistent with the gloomier cuts from “Normal Fucking Rockwell!” Utterly floating over an array of gorgeous piano chords and an orca-esque distorted guitar from frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, Del Rey calmly sings pleads of trading an L.A. lifestyle for a quiet small town life to her lover, sonically similar yet thematically contrasting from one of her standout tracks “Venice Bitch” from her previous record. The track perfectly serves as a sweet and sad hors d’oeuvre for the next chapter in Del Rey’s discography, and fans patiently wait to hear what painstaking poetry the popstar can deliver next.

beabadoobee – “Together”

Dropping another long-awaited release is the up-and-coming melancholy newcomer beabadoobee, the UK rockstar who has grown exponentially in popularity since touring with modern-day pop-rock legends The 1975 and bedroom popstar Clairo in 2019. Her debut studio album “Fake It Flowers” has been receiving vast amounts of critical appraise since its drop last week, with the singer venturing into several different areas of sound and drawing inspiration from alt-punk legends like Veruca Salt and Hole. These influences are most present on songs like “Together” – a bittersweet ballad in which beabadoobee lullabies her struggles with dependencies between a booming chorus celebrating the comfort of togetherness. “Togetherness is cool, but being together all the time is kind of unhealthy,” the singer told Apple Music, “I guess I was just taking a sad situation and pouring my heart out into a song, and screaming it. And that felt pretty empowering.”

Omar Apollo – “Want U Around” (feat. Ruel)

Another new indie kid on the block dropping their debut LP is none other than Omar Apollo with “Apolonio,” and much like beabadoobee, the project has given Apollo some long-overdue recognition. “Apolonio” features an extremely diverse collection of nine tracks total, with songs like “I’m Amazing” being an upbeat rap/pop song similar to something off of Young Thug’s country-inspired “BEAUTIFUL THUGGER GIRLS,” and tracks like “Dos Uno Nueve (219)” being a straight-up corrido track. And although the track “Want U Around” featuring British-Australian singer Ruel feels like a smooth breath of fresh air in comparison to the rest of the tracklist, it is certainly worth a listen. The song is a smooth and psychedelic R&B bop that sounds like the project’s cover looks, in which Apollo lies in a cool pool of purple, draped in butterflies and sporting teal-dyed hair. Apollo’s vocals on this track are only further perfected by Ruel’s beautifully delivered refrain, as the two begin to harmonize before the song fades out. After scoring session time in Jimi Hendrix’s iconic Electric Lady Studios and more admirable guest appearances from Kali Uchis and Bootsy Collins, it’s clear that this is the year Apollo takes off.

Oneohtrix Point Never – “Long Road Home” (feat. Caroline Polachek)

As a contrast from the previous more soothing tracks on this week’s list, experimental-ambient artist Oneohtrix Point Never is back with another single from his forthcoming 2020 album “Magic Oneohtrix Point Never.” After producing the original score for the new Safdie brothers film “Uncut Gems,” it was clear that Oneohtrix Point Never had not lost his touch, and “Long Road Home” only further proves that point. The song features a transcendent mesh of violin strings, distorted vocals and a refrain that transforms all the song’s components into an otherworldly outro. The song also features an uncredited guest appearance by the recent pop sensation Caroline Polachek, who harmonizes with Oneohtrix Point Never with lyrics about love and transformation – a theme that is beautifully portrayed in the must-watch accompanying music video. “Long Road Home” is merely one portion of the three-part intro to “Magic Oneohtrix Point Never,” and it’s certain that the remainder of the album, dropping on Oct. 30, is sure to be a trip.

Deaton Chris Anthony – “I’m So Damn”

Electronic-pop artist Deaton Chris Anthony is not one for taking breaks, nor is he one to remain within his comfort zone with his music. Pick any random track from his 2019 LP “BO Y” and you can find yourself bumping some 80’s-inspired electronic club music on songs like “1999 She” to cruising through some experimental bedroom pop featuring Clairo and Coco & Clair Clair on “RACECAR.” And in terms of experimentation, his newest EP “BOOGY WOOGY” is no exception. One of the project’s standout tracks, “I’m So Damn,” takes DCA into territories unexplored by the young DJ, the song itself an unadulterated house music cut complete with classic house bass & snares and overly-autotuned vocals from DCA himself. Although “BOOGY WOOGY” is on the shorter side of his discography, there are plenty gems here that are very much worth a listen, including “Tuethday” which features R&B star baby a’s clever rendition of ILOVEMAKONNEN’s “Tuesday,” and the hilarious “I Shake That Ath” which brilliantly samples a Pokémon video game’s original soundtrack.

James Blake – “I Keep Calling”

After delivering a collection of downright beautiful love ballads on 2019’s “Assume Form,” fans of electronic superstar James Blake were excited to see where Blake would head next. However, not many expected him to take a near-180 into the genre of club music. Blake noted the mass club shutdowns amidst COVID-19 as a direct influence to this new sound, telling Apple Music, “I was still yearning to make that kind of music … finishing this EP was a response to how frustrated I was not able to be able to go to clubs.” The EP in question is the unexpectedly-dropped “Before,” and unsurprisingly, Blake impeccably encapsulated that sound throughout the four featured tracks. “I Keep Calling” is the EP’s intro, and while Blake does not neglect his talent to deliver smooth high-pitched notes over a more simplistic beat, the real standout features of the song come straight from the DJ booth, as Blake chops & pitches his vocals over electronic drum-and-snare production that would have fit perfectly in the club – had they been open. Nonetheless, we’re thankful that Blake misses the unity and togetherness that comes with the nightlife, and we’re more than happy to run this project front-to-back and sway in the solitude of our home still.